Jul 17, 2017

Carolyn McCall wins over critics in 7 years at easyJet

In the seven years since Dame Carolyn McCall became chief executive of easyJet, she has gone from being dismissed by her fiercest rivals to winning their open admiration. News of Dame Carolyn's decision to leave Europe's second-biggest low-cost carrier to go to UK broadcaster ITV comes two months after the airline unveiled its biggest interim loss in six years and eight months after a 28 per cent decline in 2016 profits. Despite last year's setback, easyJet's share price has almost quadrupled from the opening price of 382p on the day she took over and the airline has moved into the FTSE 100. Ms McCall arrived at easyJet with a brief, first, to resolve a damaging row over strategy with its Cypriot founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and second to restore the reputation of an airline notorious for delays and struggling to digest years of frantic double digit expansion. Much uncertainty remains over a post-Brexit deal to cover flights to and from the UK. Dame Carolyn's successor will also have to respond to competition that is catching up fast on easyJet's service advantage, making its drive to lower costs even more vital for the years to come.

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